When I wrote my first Christian play in 2002, I never dreamed it would be so lucrative that I could quit my 9-5 job and go full-time into the writing ministry. I’m not saying it was easy, because it wasn’t. All I am saying is that it is possible and that I was neither the first nor the last to succeed as a Christian playwright.
I live in Jamaica and the market for Christian plays is almost zero. However, on a global scale, I was surprised to learn that there was an ever-increasing demand for well-written, anointed plays, especially for the African American Society, and today you can report that the demand is far greater than the supply.
What I have discovered over the years is that there are many other writers like me who write really good work. What happens is that they produce it once and then the script goes down in history. I have received numerous emails over the years asking how they can get their work published and when I respond it seems like too much work for them to even try. This article is for those who are willing to give it a try. I know a writer who has written only one play in his entire life and has made a living from that alone. So imagine if you can or have written more than one.
Marketing online can be challenging, but the rules apply directly to just about anything. I will describe the necessary steps to follow if you are a Christian playwright and success is your goal.
1. Write the play. I still have a lot of ideas that never made it to paper and some that I started and only wrote a scene or two. Finishing a script requires discipline and commitment. Obviously, this is a necessary step and the most important to undertake this adventure.
2. Find someone who can edit your script to minimize grammatical errors, etc. Prepare to accept criticism. A successful writer learns to listen to critics with a smile. Apply whatever fixes and changes you decide to make your script better, and then you’re ready to self-publish.
3. Get a website. You can pay to have a professional create one, or you can use one of the free online services that allow you to create a website. The downside is that they will be using your site to advertise, so I would be more inclined to do one professionally. I created my own website using Microsoft Frontpage. You can then purchase a domain name and hosting. I used go-daddy but the options are endless.
4. Sign up for an online payment. You can use PayPal.com or 2checkout.com or both to process your payments for you. If you live in the US, PayPal allows you to make withdrawals to your bank account or check for those who live abroad. 2Checkout will provide you with a MasterCard debit/credit card.
5. Once you have all these settings, you are ready to upload pages to your website. Create a separate page for each play you write complete with a synopsis and a short excerpt from the script.
Those are the five steps to having an online presence as a Christian playwright. Now you need people to find you. This is where Google and other search engines come in. You can manually submit your website to all of these different search engines. You can also use Google Adwords, which is a paid advertising option, to get more traffic.
There will always be churches and groups looking for quality Christian plays, especially for Christmas and Easter. Don’t bury your gift like some do, but use it to help spread the gospel.